WebMD Medical Reference in collaboration with
Easing Children's Fears
of the Dentist
Parents play an important role in "setting the stage" for making the first
dental office visit a positive experience. Any anxiety displayed by parents will
be "picked up" by the child.
To help the dental visit go more smoothly:
- Tell your child about the visits but limit the amount
of details given. Answer any questions with simple, to-the-point answers. Let
the dentist or pediatric dentist answer more complex or detailed questions.
Dentists are trained to describe things to children in a non-threatening way
and in easy-to-understand language.
- Don't tell your child that something will hurt or be
- Don't tell your child about an unpleasant dental
experience that you've had.
- Stress to your child how important
it is to maintain healthy teeth and gums and that the dentist is a friendly
doctor whose job it is to help do this.
- Don't promise a reward for going to the dentist.
Keep in mind that it is perfectly normal for children to be fearful - some
are afraid of being separated from their parents, others are afraid of the
unknown, others are afraid of being injured. A dentist who treats children will
know how to cope with your child's fears and anxiety and put them at ease.